I’m Kel Darling, a potter working and living near Philadelphia with my family.

I’ve tucked a studio workspace into my home, where I create functional stoneware, thrown on the wheel. I aim to make pots that are beautiful and feel good to use: a mug that cuddles warmly into the palm, and elegant pour bottle for olive oil to keep on the kitchen counter, or a small cup for bobby pins, a magnet fixed inside to keep the pins secure.

I love making art, but pottery is not only art, it is craft, and crafting is what lights me on fire. Crafts are useful. Creating usefulness–in a tradition practiced for around 20,000 years–is deeply grounding.

When I am making I ask myself, “What is a need that can be met? What might be useful to have?” Then I challenge myself to answer in my work.